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Why Next?


My uncle Larry taught me to play chess when I was eight or nine. I learned just enough rules to get started because he said I’d learn how to play, by playing. The thing I’ll always remember is the way he taught me to make better moves. Every time I picked up a piece to move it he’d ask, ‘Why is this your next, best move?’

We’re all good at asking the question, ‘What next?’

In our impatience to make progress, we’ve become experts at looking for the next, new thing that will bring us more of whatever we’re after — more opportunity or more influence, more joy or more money—not necessarily in that order.

But we’re not so good and questioning, ‘Why next?’

We make more right moves when we reflect on how the next thing we’re about to do aligns with our values, and if it’s helping us to get to where we ultimately want to go.

Image by Kurt Bauschardt

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